July
2015
July Brings Sensational STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)
 
Greetings from GSGSC! The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative  is the New Jersey initiative of the  National Girls Collaborative Project , a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Our primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls.  
As always, this newsletter is for  you as members of the Collaborative.  It can serve as a forum to promote events and to highlight  the good work that you all do, so please let me know what is going on  so we can include your program in upcoming issues.
 
In this issue:
  • Senate Passes ESEA Rewrite with Big Bipartisan Backing (includes STEM amendment)
  • The Women who Power NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto  
  • Video Contest: Tell your STEM story by 8/1
  • How do teens think about body image, beauty and bullying? A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself  
  • PSEG to Award $250,000 in Grants to Further STEM Education in NJ by 8/14
  • Fostering a Growth Mindset Is Key to Teaching STEM
  • Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings 
  • Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM or STEAM in Afterschool! 
  • Join The Connectory
  • Five Ways Technology Can Build Gender Equality
  • Women In Science: Poor Self-Perceived Ability In Math Leads To Less Female Scientists, STEM Subjects
P.S. If you're interested in additional articles, research and resources, feel free to reach out to me directly.
 
Mike MacEwan
Collaborative Lead, Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative
Senate Passes ESEA Rewrite w/ Big Bipartisan Backing (includes STEM amendment)

For the first time since 2001, the U.S. Senate Thursday passed a sweeping overhaul of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the country's federal K-12 law, which if enacted would significantly roll back the role of the federal government in public education and give states more flexibility in the process.

The legislation, the Every Child Achieves Act, proved a rare example of bipartisan politicking, with co-authors Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., carefully ushering the measure through the amendment process and floor debate with little to no drama. In the end, they held their caucuses together to pass the bill, which would overhaul the law now known as the No Child Left Behind Act, with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle, 81-17.

"Consensus among experts is not easy, but consensus is necessary in the U.S. Senate if we're going to deal with a complex problem like this, and that's exactly what we did," Alexander said. "We found a consensus not only on the urgent need to fix the law, but also on how to fix No Child Left Behind."

Murray relayed similar sentiments. "I've been very glad to work with Chairman Alexander on our bipartisan bill," she said. "It gives states more flexibility while also including federal guardrails to make sure all students have access to a quality education."

The legislation's passage in the Senate marks a crucial step in getting a bill to the president's desk. With the U.S. House of Representatives already having passed its Republican-backed ESEA rewrite last week, the two chambers can now begin working on conferencing their dueling reauthorization bills.

And dueling it will be, as the two proposals contain some stark policy differences.

Alexander said he's had "numerous" conversations with Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee and author of that chamber's bill.

"We're on parallel paths," Alexander said. "We know better than to try to make our institutions do exactly the same thing, but ... our bills are not that different."

The Senate PASSED the following amendment via voice vote:
  • An amendment from Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Fla., that would allow schools to partner with current and recently retired STEM professionals and tailor educational resources to engage students and teachers in STEM.
Click  here  to read more.
The Women who Power NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto

When Fran Bagenal began her career working on NASA's Voyager mission to the outer planets, she was among just a handful of women on the team. But that didn't phase her. "That's just how it was," she explains, adding that she was focused on particles and plasma. "Space physics was just my way of exploring the solar system." Now, as the particles and plasma science team leader on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, her response to the relative abundance of women on the team is met mostly with a shrug. "This isn't remarkable-it's just how it is." 

Bagenal's attitude regarding the strong female presence on the New Horizons mission is mostly echoed by colleagues who were informally surveyed. "I've never really thought about it," says Kim Ennico, a deputy project scientist on New Horizons who calibrates instruments on the spacecraft and monitors their status. "I'm really only conscious of it when there are only women in a meeting room."

In preparation for New Horizons' Pluto flyby-the mission phase between July 7 and July 16-Ennico works with Leslie Young, another deputy project scientist who is also the encounter planning leader on the science team. Young is tasked with fitting all of New Horizons' science goals into the precious few days the spacecraft will be in the near vicinity of Pluto. "I figure out the spacecraft's priorities," she says, describing the process as, "a job that means scheduling observations that can run simultaneously to gather the most data in a limited time."

Young's flyby playbook for New Horizons is turned into spacecraft commands by the science operation team managed by Tiffany Finley, who calls the gender balance on the New Horizons team "refreshing." 

Spacecraft commands are passed on to the mission operations team, managed by Alice Bowman. She personally reads every line of code before it's sent on a four-and-a-half hour journey to New Horizons. "I'm the last one who signs off on everything we send to the spacecraft," she explains. "I want to make sure it's perfect." 

Of course, the flyby science couldn't happen without the spacecraft arriving at its target, a major challenge that falls to Yanping Guo. As the mission design leader, Guo configured the entire mission trajectory, including the Jupiter and Pluto flybys. In short, "My job is to get New Horizons to Pluto." 

The dozens of women who are powering New Horizons to a history-making July 14 flyby of Pluto look forward to the day when the conversation about gender becomes irrelevant. "Girls will be inspired to be scientists and boys will grow up to be 'gender blind,' seeing women in science as the norm," says Young.

For deputy project scientist Cathy Olkin, it's simple. "New Horizons is about a group of talented, smart people who are passionate about the mission. That's what makes New Horizons awesome."

At 7:49 AM EDT on Tuesday, July 14 New Horizons will zip past Pluto at 30,800 miles per hour (49,600 kilometers per hour), with a suite of seven science instruments busily gathering data. The mission will complete the initial reconnaissance of the solar system with the first-ever look at the icy dwarf planet.

Follow the path of the spacecraft in coming days in real time with a visualization of the actual trajectory data, using NASA's online Eyes on Pluto.

Stay in touch with the New Horizons mission with #PlutoFlyby and on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/new.horizons1

Click  here  to read more.
Video Contest:  Tell your STEM story by 8/1!


A video competition for kids learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics outside of school. In three minutes, tell us how you are engaged in STEM learning and dream of a STEM future!

STEM learning opportunities are like charging stations that power up kids' learning. Afterschool programs, summer camps, libraries, museums and science centers all provide "charging stations" with hands-on activities, deep-learning experiences and opportunities to explore.

Young people get the charge with the support of afterschool professionals to see themselves as scientists, engineers, technology gurus and mathematicians - both now and in the future.

Kids are always told to dream big - afterschool programs allow them to do just that. Uncover the work of your program and students, and tell us what really happens in STEM afterschool.

SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO TO YOUTUBE BY AUGUST 1 (FOR SUMMER PROGRAMS).

Click  here  to read more.
Click here to watch  Julia's presentation.

Body image, beauty and bullying. In TED-Ed Clubs, students are guided through the process of making a presentation on an idea they feel passionate about - and dozens of students in clubs around the world have boldly chosen to talk about how to combat negative body image, distorted images of beauty and the bullying that springs from rigid rules about appearance.

Watch - but more important, listen - to these three inspiring perspectives on body image, beauty and bullying from teenagers in three different countries.

A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself

Julia Takata starts her presentation by recalling an experience she had in dance class. The short story: She started comparing herself to a classmate. "Because I was younger, I was very susceptible to what other people had to say about me. [I kept wondering], 'How I could change myself?'" says Takata, a student in the TED-Ed Club at the Punahou Summer School in Honolulu, Hawaii. "What I didn't realize was: I was letting someone who barely knew me tell me who I was."

Takata sees a connection between this experience and eating disorders, which she thinks of as "your mind having a competition with your body." "It's a constant battle between being skinny and being well-nourished. During this battle, your body is really taking a beating," she says. "All of this to achieve what society often portrays as beautiful."

"But you don't have to be skinny to be beautiful," she says. "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."

Click here to watch Julia's presentation.
PSEG to Award $250,000 in Grants to Further STEM Education in NJ - apply by 8/14!
Click here to learn more and apply

The PSEG Foundation is accepting applications from afterschool, summer and youth development programs to develop new or enhance existing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational opportunities for students.  A total of up to $250,000 in grants will be awarded by the Foundation through its  PSEG Science SPARK Partners funding program.

 

The PSEG Foundation will consider applications from our New Jersey service territory, as well as Salem and Cumberland counties, and our service/operation territories in Long Island and Albany, NY, and Bridgeport and New Haven, CT.

 

The number of recipients and their award amount will be decided based on the strength of the proposals received, at the discretion of Foundation staff.   Applications must be completed and submitted by Friday, August 14 at 5 p.m. EST.  All applicants will receive notification about funding decisions in late September.

 

Applicants may apply directly through PSEG's online application under the PSEG Science SPARK Partners link. Visit  www.pseg.com/community to apply.

 

About the PSEG Foundation
The PSEG Foundation (501c3) is the philanthropic arm of Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG).  The Foundation generally supports and invests in programs in three areas: community and the environment, education and safety. The Foundation provides grants to organizations in communities served by PSEG and its subsidiaries.

Click  here  to learn more and apply by 8/14!
Fostering a Growth Mindset Is Key to Teaching STEM & STEM Education

Written by David Miller

Sure, STEM can be hard, but telling kids "not everyone can do it" may make both boys and girls less inclined to try.

We're used to reassuring our kids: "It's OK - not everyone can do difficult math."

But believing such messages may deter both boys and girls from choosing to pursue degrees in physical science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to a new national, longitudinal study published in Frontiers in Psychology.

Instead, the key to piquing their interest in STEM may be telling them it's OK if they find the subjects hard to master. "Students may need to hear that encountering difficulty during classwork is expected and normal," argued Lara Perez-Felkner, a coauthor of the study and assistant professor of higher education and sociology at Florida State University.

The study used data from 4,450 students in the United States who later entered college to probe why some students shun math-intensive fields. The researchers' reasoning: If a student thinks math is too difficult, they become reluctant to try it.

"Most people believe they can do some mathematics, such as splitting a dinner bill with friends," said Samantha Nix, lead author and doctoral student at Florida State University. "But fewer believe they can do mathematics they perceive as 'difficult.'"

High school students who believed they could master the toughest math concepts were more likely to major in math-intensive fields at the college level. Similar results were found for students who believed "most people can learn to be good at math" - something psychologists call a "growth mindset."

Beliefs still mattered even after statistically correcting for some other factors such as demographics and science coursework. However, these controls were somewhat limited. Math grades were omitted, for instance.

Performance on a difficult math test was used as a control. But students had "almost no probability" of correctly answering the test's problems. This fact limits how well the test can measure individual differences in math performance, since everyone was bound to bomb it.

Nevertheless, the encouraging results echo experiments in actual classrooms that better control for prior mathematics background.

Gender gaps in beliefs were modest. In 12th grade, boys rated their math abilities higher than girls did by 0.2 points on a 4-point scale, for instance. 

Despite the mostly gender-neutral findings, popular press ran with a story about girls lacking math confidence. "Misperception discourages girls from studying math-intensive science," proclaimed the study's press release. "Why do girls doubt their maths ability in the first place?" asked another outlet.

Some gender gaps in STEM are large. Men outnumber women 3-to-1 among college graduates in math-intensive STEM majors. But accounting for gaps in confidence did not explain the much larger gaps in majors, the study found.

Advancing inaccurate clich├ęs like "women don't pursue science because of lack of confidence" does little to address the low numbers of women in STEM.

Nevertheless, related studies suggest beliefs concerning hard work may still affect boys and girls differently in some contexts. Messages about how the mind grows with hard work especially improved middle school girls' performance on a high-stakes math test, according to a prior experiment.

Professors prizing innate "genius" may also discourage women more than men, warned Andrei Cimpian, associate professor of psychology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Women's personal growth mindsets - although undoubtedly beneficial - may not be sufficient to buffer them against an environment that cherishes innate talent," he says.

Across 30 academic fields, philosophy and math professors were the most likely to say that success in their fields depends on innate talent, according to a recent study Cimpian helped lead. Fewer women were found in fields that idolized "brilliance" over hard work. This remained true even after statistically correcting for other factors such as the math performance of graduate school applicants.

"It is crucial to look not just at what's in people's heads but also at the ability beliefs that are 'in the air,'" Cimpian concluded. Teachers who believe that math intelligence is fixed can both comfort and demotivate students with messages such as "It's OK- not everyone can be good at math."

Encouraging students to work their way through difficult math problems may actually help them change their mindset - and improve their outcomes. Struggling students' grades improve when they hear that intelligence can grow with hard work, according to a new study on "mindset interventions" involving 1,594 students in 13 high schools in the United States. Students spent roughly 45 minutes reading and then doing two writing exercises related to an article about the brain's ability to grow.

Improvement in grades was roughly one-tenth of a letter grade - a modest, but still impressive, improvement considering the intervention lasted less than an hour.

My research has looked at how opportunities such as sketching engineering designs shape basic spatial skills such as mentally rotating objects. These skills are important to success in math-intensive careers, yet often neglected in education.

"Oh, but you can't teach those skills," teachers often say when I've discussed my research with them. Contrary to such beliefs, I found that 12 hours of spatial instruction improved students' spatial skills and grades in a challenging calculus-based physics course. In fact, a quantitative review of 217 related studies found training spatial skills was "effective, durable, and transferable."

Teachers who continue to believe that "your basic intelligence can't change" - despite evidence to the contrary - may rob students of opportunities to learn and grow. Computer science and math instructors who endorse such beliefs, for instance, report being more likely to advise struggling undergraduates to drop their classes.

We need to abandon dangerous ideas that some people just can't do math. Neuroscience and educational research flatly contradict such beliefs. As the new study suggests, valuing hard work over innate "genius" might even spur students to tackle new challenges.

Click  here  to read more.
Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings
Click here to read more

The NRC's Board on Science Education recently released a report to help education leaders, policy makers, and funders in both school and out-of-school settings make informed decisions to broaden access to multiple, high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their community. The report identifies features of productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings and illustrates how interest in STEM and deep STEM learning develop across time and settings. It provides guidance on evaluating and sustaining programs.

Click  here  to download a free PDF of the report, read the report online, or order print copies.
  Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM or STEAM in Afterschool!
Click here to get started

NJSACC knows that a lot of great things are being achieved through STEM education in afterschool programs, but we need to know more. Help us make a difference by pinpointing STEM activity taking place in your programs and let's find out what is being accomplished!

With that in mind, please take a moment and fill out our quick survey to express your interests in incorporating STEM or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) into your programs or how you are currently implementing STEM.  Please note that programs that do not currently offer STEM are encouraged to complete the survey as well. We'd like to hear from all of you!

We encourage as many programs to respond as possible, whether or not you have strong involvement with STEM.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Click  here to access the survey and begin!
Join The Connectory
Click here to begin

Use The Connectory to collaborate with STEM programs and promote your upcoming STEM opportunities to families. Programs are organizations providing STEM opportunities. Opportunities are time-bound STEM events such as summer camps, one-day events, workshops, career fairs, and competitions, and are automatically promoted to visitors based on their location.

Add your opportunities now so they will be available to the families across the country accessing The Connectory!
  • Join: Make an account profile
  • Create: Add your organization/program
  • Approval: Your program listing will be approved so it can be searched for by program providers
  • Add: Add all your STEM opportunities
  • Approval: Your time-bound opportunities will be approved so they can be searched for by families
  • Discover: Search for other programs providers to connect with
  • Opportunities are visible publicly to families. Programs are visible to other STEM providers.
The National Girls Collaborative Project Program Directory is now The Connectory.
   

SEATTLE (AP) - The Girl Scouts of Western Washington said it has returned a $100,000 donation because it came with the provision that the money couldn't be used to support transgender girls.

The group said it sent back the money in late May after the donor had asked that the gift be returned unless the group guaranteed it would not be used to benefit transgender girls.

"Girl Scouts is for every girl, and that is every girl regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion. Every girl is every girl," Megan Ferland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, said in an interview Tuesday. "It was a sad decision, but it was not a difficult decision. There was no way I would be put in a situation of refusing a girl participating because of a gift. It was really that quick."

The local council has transgender girls participating in the Girl Scouts, said Kate Dabe, the council's vice president of marketing and communications. To preserve their privacy, Dabe declined to say how many or provide other details about them.

But $100,000 is a lot of money, the group noted, representing about one-quarter of what it raises each year to provide financial help for girls to go to camp and participate in other activities.

So leaders of the local nonprofit, one of 112 independent local councils across the country and that serves more than 25,000 girls in western Washington, talked about how to they could communicate their needs to the community.

On Monday, the group set up a crowdfunding campaign asking for help to fill the gap. "Help us raise back the $100,000 a donor asked us to return because we welcome transgender girls," it said on its fundraising page on Indiegogo.com.

By Tuesday afternoon, thousands had given more than $185,000.

"We are astounded," Dabe said. "We were prepared for a 30-day campaign. We raised our goal in a day."

Dabe declined to share details about the donor, citing privacy concerns.

Ferland said the donor gave the money a few months back. But in the midst of a national discussion about the Girl Scouts USA being an inclusive organization and discussions about Bruce Jenner's transgender journey, the donor wrote back with the catch, Ferland said.

In an emailed statement Tuesday, Girl Scouts USA said that the group, "as a movement, has always been committed to inclusivity and supporting all girls." It said it works with local councils, which are responsible for their own fundraising. "Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority," the group added.

In Washington state, the local council has heard from both sides on the issue, but the overwhelming majority of comments have been positive, Ferland said.

"I understand that people have different views. We stand by the fact that Girl Scouts is for every girl. We knew going in that not everyone would share that view," Ferland said.

But plenty of supporters, including current and former Girl Scouts, praised the move on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Click  here  to read more.
Five Ways Technology Can Build Gender Equality: Women Fueling Science & Technology
Click here to learn more

Global Fund for Women created IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology in order to dig more deeply into an issue that we know affects women and girls around the world. IGNITE has highlighted unheard stories about women and girls in technology, shown the impact of equal access to technology for women and girls, and made the case for using technology as a tool to build a more equal world.

Here are five lessons we've learned about how technology can build gender equality.
  1. Get women and girls involved in the global technology revolution. Technology is a women's human rights issue. Read this call to action from our CEO Musimbi Kanyoro, and then join us as we imagine a future where women are given equal access to - and control of - technology.
  2. Change the story - celebrate women in leadership. Women are already leading the way when it comes to scientific and technological progress-you can meet dozens of them, past and present, in our #BetheSpark Gallery
  3. Get girls started early.  In our International Girls Hackathon #HackGirlsRights, we met girls who use their skills and imaginations to create technology solutions to issues that matter most to them. These girls know tech and aren't afraid to use it to build a better future.
  4. Get everyone involved. Throughout IGNITE, we partnered with incredible organizations around the globe, including UN Women on our #BetheSpark petition to end the gender technology gap.  With signatures from 182 countries around the world, we met--and exceeded--our goal of 20,000 people supporting greater access to and control over technology for the world's women and delivered this message to the leaders at the UN.  
  5. Find and support Changemakers.  The good news is, there are so many women and organizations already using technology as a tool to reach gender equality. We've highlighted the work of incredible organizations around the world who are creating change on the ground, from the Argentinian group ACCT that is tracking disappeared women and girls who fall victim to human trafficking, and Liga-Inan in Timor-Leste that uses SMS-text messaging to improve maternal and child health in rural communities.
We asked you to imagine a future where women and girls have equal access to and control over technology. Right now, we believe that that future is closer than ever before. The stories and experiences included in IGNITE have catalyzed Global Fund for Women to redouble our own commitment to increasing women and girls' access to and control of technology. We have created  a Technology Fund , aimed to help women around the world use technology as a tool to build power and drive action, increase women's access to and control of technology, and help grassroots organizations use technology to advance women's and girls' human rights. We hope you will join us in making sure technology access is not a privilege of a few, but a right held by all.
  Women In Science: Poor Self-Perceived Ability In Math Leads To Less Female Scientists, STEM Subjects

Written by Kristin Magaldi

As the rate of women enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects is still fairly low relative to their male counterparts, researchers are wondering what it is about the realm of math and science that is keeping women away. They know it is not that women are incapable; in fact, women have proved themselves capable time and time again, especially in the UK, where women taking two-year vocational courses in science and mathematics are outpacing their fellow male students. Yet today, women only hold 27 percent of all computer science jobs, while only 20 percent of women graduate with a related computer science degree. Researchers from Florida State University who have sought to study just that, believe it all boils down to a matter of perceptions.

According to their new study published in the journal of Frontiers in Psychology, there is a pervasive misconception that starts when American girls are in high school, and prevents them from continuing on to physics, engineering, mathematics, or computer science (PEMC) careers later on. This belief comes from the misunderstanding that "difficult" mathematics is something you either can or cannot do, and that there is no room to learn. Researchers hope that now that they have isolated this way of thinking, they can change it with more positive enforcement for girls coming from school, home, and government policy.

"Our results indicate the potential for more women to move into PEMC if they perceive their mathematics ability as strong, and open to growth," said Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology at Florida State in a recent press release.

Perez-Felkner worked with doctoral students Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas to see how perceptions of gender potentially affect perceptions of ability, which may ultimately skew college major choices. Compiling records from the Educational Longitudinal Study of the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, researchers were able to analyze 4,450 students from 750 high schools across the United States between the years 2002 to 2012.

The results revealed what researchers had previously believed: it is all a matter of mindset. Self-perceived mathematics ability highly dictated whether or not women pursued math in the future. Researchers found that high school boys tended to overrate their mathematical abilities, while girls tended to underrate them; however, 12th grade girls who told researchers they could successfully complete the most challenging mathematical problems were 3.3 times more likely to choose a PEMC major for college. This proved to be the case across the board, regardless of science courses taken, ethnicity, college entrance exam scores, or college selection.

Researchers found that the "growth mindset," or believing that mathematical ability can be fostered through learning, added to the amount of girls entering into PEMC subjects. Girls who displayed the "growth mindset" were 2.3 times more likely to pursue a PEMC major than those who reported the opposite belief.

Overall, researchers discovered that girls were 3.7 times less likely to pursue a PEMC major than boys, but were 3.8 times more likely to pursue a major in health science than the boys. When both girls and boys completed both high school courses physics 1 and chemistry 1, they were 1.9 times more likely to major in a PEMC subject than the entire body of their peers. This increased to 2.5 times more likely for both boys and girls if they also completed physics 2 and chemistry 2.

"By focusing on students' perceived ability under challenge, we are getting closer to the 'real' world context, where mathematics anxiety may operate," said doctoral student Samantha Nix. "Most people believe they can do some mathematics, such as splitting a dinner bill with friends, but fewer believe they can do mathematics they perceive as 'difficult.' Here we show that this belief can influence the decision to specialize in mathematics-intensive fields, for both women and men."

The key to changing the gender gap, researchers believe, is to shift widespread perceptions over to the "growth mindset." If this is done, the chances that women will enter a mathematical field will increase, and women's underrepresentation in PEMC fields, as reported by the OECD and the U.S. National Science Foundation, will be a thing of the past. As of right now, researchers note, this gender gap is not advantageous to anyone; by sequestering women to other fields, both science and society lose out on potential innovation, while women also miss out on higher-than-average income jobs. Research also shows that women who learn to code often feel empowered by their jobs, and that is something that can benefit everyone.

"It is important for the U.S. and other nations to continue to invest in interventions to end gender segregation in PEMC science," Perez-Felkner said. "For instance, students may need to hear that encountering difficulty during classwork is expected and normal, and does not say anything about ability to become a successful scientist. In addition, instructors may want to ask themselves if they are giving the same feedback to young women and men who deal successfully with a difficult mathematics problem in class."

With this shift in attitude, we can expect to welcome a lot more women into the world of science and mathematics than ever before. Needless to say, if this change would have been made when I was in high school, I might have reconsidered the path I decided to take.

Sources: Nix S, Perez-Felkner L, Thomas K. Perceived mathematical ability under challenge: a longitudinal perspective on sex segregation among STEM degree fields. Frontiers in Psychology. 2015.

Click  here  to read more.
Contact
Michael MacEwan 
Collaborative Lead  
Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative